‘The Lincoln Highway’ – The Reasons that I Chose to read Amor Towles’ New Novel Now


There are more than several lengthy new novels out this Fall which I want to read. Of these, I first chose to read ‘The Lincoln Highway’ (576 pages). Why?

The decision was not a difficult one. I had been grandly entertained by both of Towles’ previous novels, ‘The Rules of Civility’ and ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’. Here are just a couple of lines from my earlier reviews of these novels:

How long has it been since you have read a smart stylish elegant novel? If you are interested, “Rules of Civility” is the ticket.”

However it is in the intriguing and warm interactions between characters where Towles excels. ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ casts a likable alluring spell like no other novel I have ever read.“

After now reading two novels by Amor Towles I have come to the conclusion that he is a great literary stylist on the order of Vladimir Nabokov. A literary stylist knows that it is not our final destination that matters but the pleasures we have along the way.”

Excuse me for quoting myself.

Basically Amor Towles is fun to read at the sentence level. He makes whatever he is writing about intrinsically interesting in a steady, clear manner that is rare today. There is a certain exuberant verve in his writing that is catching. I believe one of the reasons for Towles’ mastery of fiction writing is that he did not publish his first novel until he was 47 years old. He had many years to hone his skills before publishing, and thus did not develop any bad habits that were praised by the reviewers anyway.

Each of his novels is a departure and an arrival at another vastly different location. ‘Rules of Civility’ is his New York City novel in the 1930s. ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ all takes place in a single hotel in Moscow, Russia. ‘The Lincoln Highway’ focuses on two brothers, eighteen and eight, who leave their family farm in rural Nebraska during the early 1950s. It’s a wild road trip novel.

As you can guess, I have already been captivated by ‘The Lincoln Highway’, and I am reading it rapidly. It is a quick read since so much of it is dialogue and crystal clear exposition.

Since I am only about halfway through ‘The Lincoln Highway’ so far, I will not be posting my final review for a week or so. In the meantime I will be posting reviews of a couple, not quite so lengthy or expansive, fictions.




2 responses to this post.

  1. #TapsFoot I am waiting impatiently for your review of this one because I too really liked his previous two, and am just not quite sure whether to reserve the new one at the library or to part with actual money for it. (I am meaner about buying overseas books than Australian ones.) Its fate is in your hands!

    Liked by 1 person


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